Archive - September, 2005

The Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac

Eugene FieldAmong the 5,000 books available for the Libronix Digital Library System there are a few that make people wonder, “Why did they produce that one?”

Years ago, someone gave our family a copy of The Works of Eugene Field. In high school I read a few volumes with mild interest before getting to the final volume, The Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac, with which I fell promptly in love.

I was in my seventh year then, and I had learned to read I know not when. The back and current numbers of the “Well-Spring” had fallen prey to my insatiable appetite for literature. With the story of the small boy who stole a pin, repented of and confessed that crime, and then became a good and great man, I was as familiar as if I myself had invented that ingenious and instructive tale; I could lisp the moral numbers of Watts and the didactic hymns of Wesley, and the annual reports of the American Tract Society had already revealed to me the sphere of usefulness in which my grandmother hoped I would ultimately figure with discretion and zeal. And yet my heart was free; wholly untouched of that gentle yet deathless passion which was to become my delight, my inspiration, and my solace, it awaited the coming of its first love.

Eugene Field was a poet and journalist in the late 19th century (most famous now for Little Boy Blue and Wynken, Blynken, and Nod). His fanciful memoir of an old bibliomaniac delighted me; I found within it the name of my book obsession and license to revel in the malady.
I memorized the first chapter for recitation at a drama competition, and for years afterwards I pressed copies into the hands of fellow book lovers.

One of these fellow bibliomaniacs worked at Logos in our text production department. He took it upon himself to type the entire book and then presented it, fait accompli, in Logos format. And so it went into our collection as an unlock, with about five to ten copies sold each year.

So, is it useful for Bible study? No, but it is a delightful read if you are enchanted by chapter titles like “The Luxury of Reading in Bed,” “On the Odors Which My Books Exhale,” and “Our Debt to Monkish Men.” And now it is free.

What People Say About Logos

magazines2.pngDuring the past four years, Logos Bible Software Series X has been reviewed by well over 100 magazines, newspapers and theological journals…and that number continues to grow. For each one, an independent reviewer installs the software, surveys its contents and functions, and records his or her impressions.

You can read 93 of these reviews on our Reviews page.
If you’re researching Bible software prior to purchasing, this page is a goldmine of information. If you’re already a user, point a friend or colleague to the reviews so they can see independent confirmation that Logos is the smart choice. Looking at the comments left on the reviews, it’s clear that some users also find it interesting and encouraging just to see what people are saying about Logos.

Because Logos Bible Software has been reviewed by a wide range of publications which serve various audiences, you’ll find evaluations of the software aimed at the twentysomething, business person, Christian counselor, parent, seminary student, preaching pastor, youth pastor, biblical scholar, classical scholar and Bible translator…not to mention all the different denominational publications represented!

The common thread in all these reviews is that Logos Bible Software is an essential/invaluable/useful/amazing/insert-adjective-here tool for Bible study and exegesis. (Did you expect them to reach any other conclusion?) :-)

As new reviews are posted, they show up on the Logos.com homepage and in the RSS feed. We are usually granted permission to post the full text of the review on our site and link to the reviewing publication so that readers can learn more about what kind of publication it is.

Expect to see some reviews of new products soon, such as the The Parallel Aligned Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Texts of Jewish Scripture by Prof. Emanuel Tov and Works of Philo: Greek Text with Morphology.

About This Resource: Part II

Part I

Here’s another of Wendell Stavig’s questions to one of my earlier posts:

What is a MARC record?

MARC stands for Machine Readable Catalog, and is a Library of Congress standard way of specifying resource metadata, that is, information about the book. Think of it as an electronic card catalog entry. You could use the MARC record information to do a library search, and if you printed this information out and took it to your local library, your librarian would probably know what she was looking at, but mostly the MARC record represents cataloging information that is used by the Libronix DLS to help organize and find resources in your library.

If you want to learn more about the MARC format in all its splendor, the Library of Congress has a page for you. If you follow that link, I recommend that you refrain from operating heavy machinery for at least twelve hours afterward. Better make it twenty-four, just to be safe.

Anyway, this illustrates one of the things that sets the Libronix DLS apart from other Bible software programs: We really have built an electronic library, and not simply a Bible study program. To be sure, the Libronix DLS is an excellent Bible study program, but that’s not all it is; the features we’ve built for Bible study are simply specialized ways to access certain kinds of information in your electronic library shelves.

Say it with me: It’s not a program, it’s a library.

This is why, for example, we call books “resources” — a library has all sorts of resources, not just books. (So do we: A video resource isn’t a “book,” it’s … a video resource.) We are not tied down to presenting only one kind of information. Just like a library.

This is also why the My Library browser shows you not only the actual title of each book, but also alternate titles, popular titles, and any abbreviated titles we know about. You can type “Little Kittel” into the My Library browser to find The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Abridged in One Volume. Or you can find them by subject. Or by author. There’s more than one way to find the book you’re looking for.

Just like a library.

Why Electronic Books are Better

EliECF.jpgMy favorite story about why electronic reference books are better than print is from AAR/SBL 1996. We had just released the Early Church Fathers on CD-ROM and a woman came up to our booth to place an order.

“I am so glad you have this in electronic form,” she said. “I already have it in print, but I am a student and have had to move the 38 volumes three times to second floor apartments. I’m selling the paper!”

With more than 5,000 titles available today, the case for saving space and weight is made. Still, the ECF remains our first, best single-title example, and we still drag the paper edition out as a prop for photographs.

During a recent shoot, as several of us hauled the set out to the lobby, I observed that I had seen someone carry the whole set. Logos blogger Eli Evans did not believe me –- but he was the one who did it. I found the photo, from 1998, though the evidence shows he could only handle 37 of the 38 volumes.

Visual Filters and Verb Rivers (Part II)

Earlier, I wrote an article titled Visual Filters and Verb Rivers (Part I) in which I described the use of a particular visual filter, the Morphology Filter in the Biblical Languages Addin.

That article got long, and I promised to follow it up later. Well … it’s later. And this is the follow-up.
The Morphology Filter is good for word-level and paragraph-level work. That is, when you are reading through the text and noticing morphological trends, the Morphology Filter helps these sorts of things jump out at you.

Upon noticing what seems to be a concentration of a particular morphological criteria in a particular paragraph or section, the next question is: Does this happen elsewhere in the book, or is this unique? In other words, with the Morphology Filter, you’re looking at the trees (or perhaps a particular grove of trees). But you need to step back and look at the whole forest now. This is what Verb Rivers help you to do.

(Holding back the urge to mix metaphors and crack a joke about going “over the river and through the woods” … )

Continue Reading…

We Did Remember Hebrew

It would not do to have a syntactically tagged Greek NT without something similar for the Hebrew text. So we are partnering with Francis Andersen and Dean Forbes to make their three decades of work available to you for display and searching, too.

Soup Cookoff Recipe #1: Grandma Approved!

The top vote-getter in our 2005 Soup Cookoff was Jerry Godfrey’s soup, Grandma Approved!
His prize-winning recipe is below.

Continue Reading…

Soup Cookoff Recipe #2: Pottage of Pollo Parousia

The runner-up in the 2005 Logos Soup Cookoff was Landon & Krissy Norton’s Pottage of Pollo Parousia.

Landon says: “By the way, the title of this tasty treat when translated by a team of our scholars overseas means: The Second Coming of Chicken Tortilla Soup.” His recipe is below.

Continue Reading…

Visual Filters and Verb Rivers (Part I)

I’ve been working through 1Ti 4.11-16 in my personal study. One thing that jumps out in this passage is the amount of imperative verbs relative to 1Ti 1.1-4.10. These six verses contain 10 imperatives; nine of them are in the second person singular (thus likely addressed to the reader, Timothy).

This is an important feature of the passage (and in the larger discourse of the epistle), and it should be looked into.

But how does Logos Bible Software help you become aware of this sort of thing? There are two features (at least) that help one “see” these things. Visual Filters and Verb Rivers. These are available in the Biblical Languages Addin, which is already a part of some Logos packages (see bottom of this product page for details).

This article explores what sort of information these addins convey.
Continue Reading…

From Morphology to Syntax

Morphologically analyzed texts have been an important feature of Bible software packages for years. Logos offers several different morphological analyses for the Greek NT and we will soon have three different analyses for the Hebrew. Recently we announced or shipped analyzed versions of the Old Testament Greek Pseudepigrapha, the Apostolic Fathers in Greek, and the Works of Philo. (The Works of Josephus aren’t far behind.)

But what if you want to look at syntax? There have not been a lot of tools available. Logos is partnering with OpenText.org to change that, and you soon will be able to see (and search!) a syntactically annotated Greek NT. The image below is an early view of just one of the ways you will be able to use this data.

Page 1 of 3123»